© Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved.
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear SOBA Colleague:
Finally the ice is gone from all the lakes and streams, Minnesota has already hosted its 2009 Fishing Opener, and despite the weather, for most of us the boating season is upon us. As we pass this yearly milestone and as I continue to see boats being trailered along the highways, I can’t help but be reminded that these boaters rarely think twice about the Boating Access Sites that they are bound for, and of those who make the development and maintenance of these facilities possible. I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your efforts in making recreational boating the safe, family-oriented national past time that we all know it is.
Since our Fall 2008 newsletter, the economic circumstances that our Nation is experiencing have shown some signs of improvement, although the stresses that affect the recreational boater, the boating industry and our respective states continue to result in unprecedented challenges. The effects of the overall economic downturn have also directly affected SOBA.
In March 2009, the SOBA Executive Board was informed by one of its most significant strategic Partners, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), that due to the dramatic downturn in the boating industry that they had been forced to implement a variety of budget cuts throughout their organization, impacting staff and programs. As a result, NMMA reluctantly was forced to temporally suspend their long standing monthly financial support to SOBA with the hope that they would be able to resume this support in late 2010. On behalf of SOBA, the Board expressed their understanding and support of NMMA’s decision, our appreciation of their stated intent to restore financial support as soon as possible, and our shared desire that the effects of the current economic crisis on all facets of the recreational boating industry would be short lived for all those involved. During this time, NMMA agreed to waive its annual increase to SOBA's management services agreement fee. Most importantly, the Board stressed that these events would not impact the valuable partnership that SOBA and NMMA have shared over the years, and we all look forward to the relationship between our organizations only strengthening in the future.
To address the affects of the current economy, the Executive Board has taken a number of steps to assure the continuing financial stability and success of SOBA as an organization. The Board examined the 2009 annual budget and reduced costs across all categories, including but not limited to restricting unnecessary Board travel by implementing a requirement that all quarterly Board meetings be held at the NMMA Offices in Chicago. Additionally the Newsletter has gone from print to an electronic publication. These reductions are anticipated to allow SOBA to remain the strong, national voice that it has been over the last quarter century.
The 23rd Annual National Boating Access Conference, sponsored by SOBA and hosted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, under the guidance and leadership of Andy Goldbloom, will be held in Corpus Christi on September 28 – October 1. SOBA’s 2009 conference will be held concurrently with NASBLA’s 50th Annual Conference and is shaping up to be an event filled with timely and educational sessions, great speakers and opportunities to visit a number of boating facilities along the Gulf Coast. Further information on the conference is posted on the SOBA website www.sobaus.org. I look forward to seeing you all in Corpus Christi, Texas later in the year.
Please contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org)or any one of the Executive Board (email@example.com) with any questions, comments or concerns you and/or your agency may have.
SOBA MEMBERSHIP AND ANNUAL CONFERENCE COSTS ELIGIBLE UNDER FEDERAL AID PROGRAM
Below are two extracts from 2 CFR 225 Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments (OMB Circular A-87) that may be of interest to SOBA members.
27) Meetings and Conferences. Costs of meetings and conferences, the primary purpose of which is the dissemination of technical information, are allowable. This includes costs of meals, transportation, rental of facilities, speakers’ fees, and other items incidental to such meetings or conferences. See Section 14 – "Entertainment Costs," for exclusions.
14. Entertainment. Costs of entertainment, including amusement, diversion, and social activities and any costs directly associated with such costs (such as tickets to shows or sports events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, and gratuities) are unallowable.
28) Memberships, Subscriptions, and Professional Activity costs.
a) Costs of the governmental unit’s memberships in business, technical, and professional organizations are allowable.
b) Costs of the governmental unit’s subscriptions to business, professional, and technical periodicals are allowable.
c) Costs of membership in civic and community, social organizations are allowable as a direct cost with the approval of the Federal awarding agency.
d) Costs of membership in organizations substantially engaged in lobbying are unallowable.
SOBA AWARD GIVEN TO BRIAN BOHNSACK
SOBA's Outstanding Service Award is presented to an individual or agency that has made either a one-time or continuing contribution to improved access on our nation's public waters for boaters and anglers. Brian Bohnsack was chosen as the 2008 recipient for his support of recreational boating through his excellent management of CVA and BIG programs for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He has also been a strong advocate of SOBA through the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council (SFBPC) and Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program reviews.
|SOBA Past President Terry Boyd presents the 2008 SOBA Outstanding Service Award to Brian Bohnsack, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Sport Fish and Boating Partnership Council meeting in Washington, DC on March 3, 2009.|
2009 CONGRESSIONAL AWARD TO LATOURETTE
On Wednesday May 6th at the American Boating Congress in Washington DC, SOBA President Kent Skaar, and Immediate Past President Ed Poolos presented Congressman Steven C. LaTourette (Ohio) with the 2009 SOBA Congressional Award for his efforts in support of recreational boating and boating access.
Congressman LaTourette was a champion of the 2008 Clean Boating Act, and was responsible for its initiation and final passage. Additionally, the Congressman has consistently promoted the allocation of funds for recreational boating through his position on the House Appropriations Committee. He also served as Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Task force for 10 years, authored major Great Lakes legislation including the reauthorization of the National Invasive Species Act and the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, and is a member of the NMMA’s Boating Caucus.
|Kent Skaar, Steven LaTourette and Ed Poolos
2009 NATIONAL BOATING ACCESS CONFERENCE IN CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS
September 28th—October 1st
The 23rd annual National Boating Access Conference hosted by SOBA is being held September 28th through October 1st in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Omni Marina Tower is the host hotel for the conference and is located directly across the street from the world class Corpus Christi Municipal Marina and Corpus Christi Bay. This beautiful waterfront setting will set the stage for this fast paced, informative and fun event. This location offers numerous opportunities to experience boating access, B.I.G. and CVA funded facilities but also is within walking distance of restaurants, nightclubs, tourist attractions and bay or deep water fishing excursions.
The conference agenda is being finalized but the final draft can be viewed on the SOBA website. The first day of the conference is focused on the Clean Vessel Act and opportunities to fund clean boater education and pump-out facilities. Sessions include, initiating and maintaining clean marina and boater programs and a roundtable of marina managers relating their experiences with these programs and CVA grants.
With the Sport Fish Restoration fund up for reauthorization, we have scheduled a number of federal aid programs to discuss and learn more about the status of the reauthorization and the implementation of recommended changes to the CVA and B.I.G. programs. Technical sessions will include, innovative ways to acquire land through the Boating Access Program, environmental permitting, complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act when constructing boat ramps and docks, and research on boater perceptions and estimating water body carrying capacities, to name a few.
The conference was also planned to overlap with NASBLA’s (National Association of State Boating Law Administrators) annual conference which is being held in the sister Omni Bayfront Tower, a block away from our Marina Tower. This will provide a unique opportunity to mingle with our safe boating partners. We are planning joint educational sessions, access to each others exhibit halls and a combined social event at the municipal marina on Tuesday night.
Anyone who has attended a past SOBA conference knows that they are not all work and no play. This year, the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and Municipal Marina Department are teaming with the Texas Game Warden Association to host the Tuesday night dinner at the marina. City staff will be frying up freshly caught fish while the Game Warden Association will be roasting game and exotic critters to provide a unique Texas culinary experience. Monday evening’s dinner will be a catered affair at the Corpus Christi Science and History Museum that has a strong nautical history theme.
We realize that program and travel budgets are tight and this has been foremost in our minds as we planned the 23rd Annual National Boating Access Conference. Our aim is to package as much education, entertainment and value within our four days as is humanly possible. Plan on spending the last week in September in Corpus Christi with your friends and peers. Feel free to contact our Conference Host Andy Goldbloom at 512-389-8128 if you have any questions, or if you wish to discuss sponsorship and exhibit opportunities.
BY-LAWS TASK FORCE
The SOBA Board established a By-Laws Task Force in 2007 to specifically look at the voting structure of the organization. With many states having multiple agencies involved in the core federal programs that SOBA has interest in (i.e.; Sport Fish Restoration, Clean Vessel Act, and Boating Infrastructure Grants), some members were concerned about representation and voting in SOBA.
The Task Force was co-chaired by Stephanie Cunningham and Wayne Shuyler with the following members: Casey Nelson, Judy Wheeler, Mike Hough, Teresa Jarrett, and Kevin Atkinson. The Committee met telephonically and developed two voting options in addition to the existing practice. The By-Laws Task Force presented three voting options for SOBA members to consider at the Norfolk Conference. Members at the conference were urged to review the options and send written preferences to the Board. This concluded the work of the By-Laws Task Force.
The three options presented were:
APPROACH A - ONE VOTE PER STATE
This is our current structure based on our By-Laws. No change would be needed.
APPROACH B - ONE VOTE PER STATE AGENCY MEMBERSHIP
Each agency in a state with Boating, SFR, CVA or BIG responsibilities could join as a voting member.
Each state would have one full vote for each member agency.
APPROACH C - ONE VOTE PER STATE - POSSIBLE FRACTIONAL VOTE PER STATE MEMBERSHIP
Each agency in a state with Boating, SFR, CVA, or BIG responsibilities could join as a voting member.
Each state's single vote would be equally split between all member agencies.
The result would be fractional votes for each agency in a state with multiple member agencies.
The options were also published in a subsequent newsletter and the entire membership was asked to express a preference among the three options. The deadline for responses was January 30, 2009.
After the deadline, the Board reviewed the results received by e-mail and letter. Of the responses received, 69% expressed a preference for Approach A, 23% for Approach B, and 0% for Approach C. One response offered yet another approach. Based on these results, the Board decided to retain the existing voting structure as outlined in the By-Laws.
The Board thanks the co-chairs and members of the By-Laws Task Force for their valuable assistance and contributions.
UPDATE ON THE REAUTHORIZATION OF THE SPORT FISH RESTORATION AND BOATING TRUST FUND
The Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (formerly Wallop-Breaux and now known as “Trust Fund”) is up for reauthorization as part of the 2009 Highway Bill. In preparation for this reauthorization, SOBA’s Board of Directors identified two issues that the association would like to see accomplished during this round of reauthorization. These two issues were then presented to the Angling and Boating Alliance (ABA), which is an ad hoc coalition of national boating, angling, outdoor recreation organizations, conservation groups, and state boating safety and natural resource agencies committed to the sustainable future of the Trust Fund.
The two issues identified by the SOBA Board were:
• To maintain the current funding percentages for the Boating Access, Clean Vessel, and Boating Infrastructure Programs.
• To make available $300,000 from the 15% Boating Access allocation for SOBA to continue to be the national leader supporting the need for recreational boating access facilities nationwide.
On April 30th, the ABA reached a consensus agreement on reauthorization priorities and statutory changes to ensure the Trust Fund’s continued vitality and success as a “user pay, user benefit” program. The ABA agreement includes a set of statutory changes to the fund which includes the following three recommendations to Congress (of specific interest to SOBA members):
1. In recognition of the importance of ensuing recreational access to waterways and of the need to have a coordinated approach to water access, the Alliance agrees that the statue should be amended to make up to $300,000 from the 15% allocation for water access under the Sport Fish Restoration account, subject to a competitive bidding process, for non-profit entities to address specific access concerns.
2. In recognition of the new challenges and opportunities associated with access to recreational water bodies, and in awareness of new environmental requirements in states across the nation, the Alliance agrees to allow (but not require) a certain portion of Clean Vessel Act program dollars to be spent on a specific set of capital improvement and infrastructure projects to support the clean marine programs, such as: power wash-down stations at ingresses to water bodies, including marinas; containment & treatment stations at marinas; and other such infrastructure projects. The Alliance agrees to a maximum dollar allowance of not more than 25% of state-apportioned CVA program dollars to be used for such purposes.
3. The Alliance agrees that in order to offset the impact of anticipated revenue declines for the crucial Clean Vessel Act (CVA) and Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) programs, and to take advantage of current lower real estate market values, the percentage allocation for each of these programs should be increased by .1% from 2.0% to 2.1%.
The SOBA Board is very appreciative of the tireless work put in by the Alliance members in finalizing this Draft. SOBA will continue to work with the Alliance, and its partners, to include language that ensures SOBA is the entity referred to in Point 1) above.
The next step along the reauthorization path is to have legislative language drafted incorporating the statutory changes, and to identify Congressional members who will champion the effort of reauthorization. This legislation should be drafted within the next few months and the SOBA Board will keep you informed. If you would like a copy of the entire ABA reauthorization agreement please contact Bernice McArdle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPORT FISH AND BOATING PARTNERSHIP COUNCIL REVIEW OF BOATING ACCESS PROGRAM
The Sport Fishing & Boating Partnership Council is currently conducting a review of the Sport Fish Restoration Boating Access Program. Many SOBA members may have responded to the official survey that was sent out by the SFBPC through the federal-aid coordinators list. On that survey, respondents were offered the opportunity to participate in an on-going on-line discussion forum about features of the Boating Access Program. Those who opted to participate were subsequently invited to join the discussions and given a User Name and Password.
This Forum is mainly designed to provide state boating program coordinators and federal aid coordinators an avenue for a more “free form” exchange of ideas and thoughts. Participants are also allowed to initiate items to discuss. Approximately 40 people, mostly state program boating administrators and/or federal assistance coordinators, are currently participating in this forum and both contributing and viewing comments posted. It makes for very interesting and pertinent reading for anyone working with the SFR Boating Access program.
Many SOBA members may not have had the opportunity to join in this on-line forum. If you would like to obtain more information about the forum or request to join the forum, contact one of the following SFBPC folks or Sarah Sanders the contractor for the project.
Doug Hobbs, SFBPC Coordinator: Doug_Hobbs@fws.gov (703) 358-2336
Andrew Loftus, SFR Access Review Coordinator: email@example.com
John Sprague, SFR Access Review Committee Chair: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Sanders at DJ Case & Associates, 574-258-0100 or email@example.com
SOBA BOARD MEETS IN PARK CITY, UTAH - HOST STATE FOR 2010 NATIONAL BOATING ACCESS CONFERENCE (hosted by SOBA)
The SOBA board recently hosted their Spring 2009 board meeting in Park City Utah (May 27-29). This venue was chosen in an effort to double up on efforts and use the opportunity to conduct a full site visit for the 2010 National Boating Access Conference, hosted by SOBA, at the same time as conducting SOBA’s two day board meeting.
Utah will be our host state for 2010, and the board met with the Utah Team, headed by Craig Walker, Aquatic Habitat Coordinator,and spent a morning reviewing the hotel property, its facilities, and mapping out details for the Field Trip. The location is a beautiful one: The Canyons Resort, situated in Utah’s scenic Wasatch Mountains, and located approximately 40 minutes from Salt Lake City. Within reach of The Canyons is a host of activities including Fly Fishing, White Water Rafting, Mountain Biking, Kayaking, Horseback Riding, and much more. Mark your calendars: October 17-21, 2010.
The Board also spent a full afternoon reviewing the 2009 SOBA Award submissions. There were many great proposals received, and winners were chosen per the criteria established for their respective award categories. All winners will be personally informed soon, and awards will be presented at SOBA’s upcoming conference, September 28 – October 1st. A presentation of winning projects will also be featured at this year’s event in Corpus Christi.
A full list of “Action Items” from the board meeting is available to SOBA members, and will be sent shortly via the Member List Serv.
SOBA LAUNCHES JOB MART FOR SOBA MEMBERS
SOBA has now introduced a Job Mart on its website which allows member companies and state agencies to post their job openings.
Members should forward a full description of their job vacancies to firstname.lastname@example.org for review and approval. Postings will be accessible to the general public usually within 48 hours of submission.
Job vacancies will be featured for three months after the posting date, and then automatically removed. Any state agency or member company wishing to have their listing extended should send their request to email@example.com.
This service will be for job postings only, and job applicants should liaise directly with the member posting agency and/or company for further information.
FWS WILDLIFE AND SPORT FISH RESTORATION PROGRAM
Christy Vigfusson recently started with the FWS Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) Washington Office as the Fish and Wildlife Grants Biologist responsible for administration of the Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG), Clean Vessel Act (CVA), Boating Access (BA), and National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant programs. She replaces Brian Bohnsack who left the position last year to take another position within the FWS.
She started with WSFR in 2006 as Grant Manager for the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program and the WSFR Strategic Plan Coordinator. Prior to that, Christy worked as a Program Specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) managing formula and competitive grant programs that awarded funds for research, education, and extension primarily at Land Grant Universities around the U.S. She earned her M.S. from Cornell University, a B.S. from Ohio University's Honors Tutorial College, and has received various awards for her work related to diversity, strategic planning, and electronic grants.
Christy can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (703) 358-1748. Please feel free to contact her with any questions concerning the BIG, CVA, or MBA grant programs.
RECREATIONAL BOATING AND FISHING FOUNDATION
The following is a brief description of the major programs carried out by the Recreational Boating And Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and an update on program accomplishments.
ANGLERS’ LEGACY(AL): Mobilize the avid angler to serve as a recruitment arm for introducing non-participants to recreational boating and fishing.
The Anglers’ Legacy program reached a historic milestone with almost 120,000 Pledges. The program, which is approaching its three-year anniversary mark, asks Ambassadors to promise to introduce at least one newcomer to boating and fishing.
According to an RBFF online survey conducted in October 2008, Ambassadors said they purchased approximately $140 in fishing tackle and equipment, $153 in boating supplies and accessories, and more than three fishing licenses which support critical fish and wildlife management efforts. At more than 100,000 Pledges, this means the program may have already generated $25 million for the boating and fishing industries and 170,000 new fishing licenses for states.
More than 300 program partners such as state fish and wildlife agencies, clubs and organizations, sports media and outdoor retailers and manufacturers help promote Anglers’ Legacy. Shimano, Bass Pro Shops, the Sportsman’s Magazine, North American Fisherman and International Sportsmen’s Exposition, among others, have all pledged support for the program in 2009.
The first edition of ‘Anglers’ Legacy Quarterly’ was launched in March 2009. Designed exclusively for Ambassadors of the sport, it features conservation facts, information about boating and fishing hotspots across the country, Ambassador-generated content and special event promotions and discounts. This e-newsletter provides Ambassadors with valuable stories and tips for their time on the water, and encourages them to stay engaged in the program.
TAKE ME FISHING™ BRAND: Support stakeholder marketing efforts to increase participation.
RBFF’s has fully rolled out an updated Take Me Fishing™ campaign. An online study, conducted by Russell Research, of more than 1,600 people revealed:
• More than half of target anglers are more likely to go fishing in the next year as a result of the advertising message – 40 percent are more likely to go fishing from a boat.
• Half of target anglers indicated the campaign would make them more likely to purchase a fishing license in the next year.
• The 2008 campaign and communication efforts maintained overall awareness of the Take Me Fishing brand at 26 percent.
• Awareness of Take Me Fishing was slightly higher in the 30 states that participated in RBFF’s Direct Mail Marketing Program.
• Half of target anglers found the advertising to be extremely memorable – up 20 percent.
• 57% indicated the advertising is extremely unique – up nearly 30 percent.
• Advertising likeability remains high with 72% indicating they liked the advertising.
• 62% found the advertising to be very believable.
• 41% indicated they were very interested in the advertising – up 10 percent.
TakeMeFishing.org underwent a major redesign. The new site launched in April 2008.
STATE INITIATIVES: Mobilize states to increase fishing license sales by implementing an integrated marketing program targeted towards lapsed anglers.
RBFF’s State Direct Mail Marketing Program, a nationwide effort designed to increase fishing license sales and generate awareness of the connection to state conservation efforts, began year-two of the program in March.
Thirty-two states will launch their programs with two separate mailings, aiming to bring lapsed anglers back to the sport. The second year of the program continues to integrate radio advertising and public relations support from RBFF to enhance the direct mail effort.
The Direct Mail Marketing Program has helped 29 of 30 states to sell 223,956 fishing licenses and permits. Based on these results, the program has contributed more than $4 million in gross revenue to fish and wildlife management efforts to date.
RBFF worked closely with its state partners to learn what strategies worked and have taken their feedback into consideration as the program moves forward. RBFF is working to provide a successful program infrastructure that is self-sustaining and builds funds for state conservation efforts year to year. Plans are in the works for the following pilot programs:
• Movers program – targeting lapsed anglers that relocate and move into another state.
• Prediction model – based on research in Oklahoma to predict those anglers likely to lapse.
• Retention program – use e-mail to remind current anglers to renew their licenses.
EDUCATION: Educate and encourage participation in recreational boating and fishing among youth and their families (inclusive of minorities).
In FY 2009, RBFF awarded $782,130 in education grants to aquatic education organizations in four distinct groups:
1. National – program is national in scope
2. Pilot-to-National – program to progress to national scope following successful pilot
3. Regional – program limited to a specific area within the US
4. Local – program limited to a community
Grantees this past year included:
• C.A.S.T. for Kids
• FishHer - Fishing Gear for Women, LLC
• Future Fishermen Foundation – Physh Ed
• Junior Anglers & Hunters of America, Inc.
• Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region
• National Youth Marine Alliance
• National Recreation & Park Association
• Spirit of America Foundation
• YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis
BOATING: Enhance efforts of boating stakeholders to increase recreational boating participation.
In the past year, RBFF worked to appeal more broadly to boating stakeholders through a variety of initiatives. After speaking with representatives from Grow Boating, who already had the Discover Boating marketing campaign, RBFF learned it could best support Grow Boating’s efforts by directing TakeMeFishing.org visitors to DiscoverBoating.com and leveraging other promotional opportunities to generate additional boat-buying prospects. From October 2007 to September 2008, the Discover Boating campaign generated 76,863 prospects. Of those, RBFF produced almost 20 percent of them. And since October 2008, RBFF has generated an additional 10,960 prospects. Most were generated through the Web and the popular Triple-A Baseball promotion. Grow Boating research shows that nearly 10 percent of prospects will buy a boat and that three quarters of them are first time buyers.
Driving Boating-Related Purchases
Through research, RBFF knows that the 120,000 Anglers’ Legacy Ambassadors, many of whom fish from a boat, spend $153 on boating-related products and fuel. With RBFF’s marketing efforts to these Ambassadors, the organization may have generated more than $13.4 million for the boating industry.
Improving Water Access
Next year, RBFF will identify and promote public water access locations in 33 states on TakeMeFishing.org.
Enhancing the Web Site
By working with the BoatU.S. Foundation, Boat Ed, BoatSafe.com, ClicktoBoat.com, Grow Boating and the National Safe Boating Council, RBFF launched new boating content on TakeMeFishing.org. The site features better navigation and new trip planning resources. The site’s new social network Fishington - The Fishing & Boating Capital of the Internet was selected as an Official Honoree by the 13th Annual Webby Awards.
Increasing Boat Registration Renewals
RBFF knows that more boat registration renewals mean more money for states’ critical fish and wildlife programs and boating infrastructure, so this past year RBFF partnered with Oregon to roll out a direct mail marketing program to 18,000 lapsed boaters in Oregon to help increase renewal rates and also put people back on the water and boats back into service. RBFF intends to replicate this lapsed boater program in other states.
Providing Marketing Support
RBFF cross promoted boating events for trade and consumer shows. Also for the first time, RBFF offered consumer discounts for those shows through TakeMeFishing.org which increased attendance and eventual participation in boating.
NMMA WORKS TO REBUILD CONGRESSIONAL BOATING CAUCUS
As a result of the election, the bipartisan Congressional Boating Caucus, formed by NMMA in 1989, has shrunk from 164 Members of Congress to a new total of 140 Members. NMMA will actively work over the course of the next Congress to recruit new Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and rebuild and expand the Caucus. Bringing new, energetic pro-business Members of Congress into the Boating Congress is a great opportunity and a challenge. Due to NMMA outreach in the 110th Congress, 15 Senators and Representatives joined the Caucus. Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is the new Senate Boating Caucus Co-Chair, replacing former Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss.). Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), the Ranking Member on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), and Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) are all recent additions to the Senate Boating Caucus.
WORKING WATERFRONTS BILL INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE
This week, Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) introduced H.R. 2548, Keep America's Waterfronts Working Act of 2009. The bill amends the Coastal Zone Management Act to create a grants program for states that have a working waterfronts plan. Working waterfronts are defined as being water-dependent coastal related businesses and this includes commercial fishing, recreational fishing, aquaculture, boat building and other uses. The bill also increases the public's access to coastal resources by making the federal funds contingent on providing public access unless there are overriding safety concerns. The bill also encourages states to undertake an open and public, stakeholder driven planning process, and to use existing knowledge and programs. It also provides flexibility, allowing each state to determine which working waterfronts are at risk and which ones are the priorities for protection. H.R. 2548 has 14 original co-sponsors, Representatives Madeline Z. Bordallo (D-GU), Lois Capps (D-CA), William D. Delahunt (D-MA), Sam Farr (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI), Ron Klein (D-FL), James R. Langevin (D-RI), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Michael H. Michaud (DME), James P. Moran (DVA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), and Robert J. Wittman (R-VA). For more information: http://thomas.loc.gov
SCHWARZENEGGER SPARES CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF BOATING AND WATERWAYS
California’s 2009-10 budgets did not fold the states Division of Boating and Waterways into the state parks department, as was originally proposed by Gov. Schwarzenegger. NMMA and numerous California boating groups support having a separate agency to allocate boating safety and infrastructure improvement funds in targeted projects that specifically benefit boaters. Under the Governor’s proposal, the parks department could have used the boating funds to make general improvements to parks or other state lands as long as there was a tangential connection to boating.